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The Hitman's Guide #2

The Hitman's Guide to Staying Alive Despite Past Mistakes

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Now that Leland’s decided to give up his life as a hitman and take a walk on the mild side, we’ve been enjoying a simple life of taking down bad guys the legal way. I didn’t know he would be just as reckless as a PI, but it’s not my fault if I happen to enjoy helping him hunt down the occasional criminal. If only I could keep the house from being overrun by Leland’s gun shrine—or stop him from making our cases “more exciting” by terrorizing people into confessing. Overall, life seems perfect, right?


We’ve been called in to investigate a suspicious murder committed by someone claiming to be the Sandman. When we find a note on the victim’s body, we realize that this could ruin our lives forever.


I wasn’t involved in the murder. It might look like my writing and my note, but I wouldn’t do that to Jackson—especially after I promised him that I wouldn’t take a hit ever again. At least, not without telling him. I’m finally starting to learn that we’re stronger together, and I’m not going to jeopardize that.

Luckily for both of us, this copycat doesn’t know who he’s dealing with. Game’s on, fake Sandman. You think you can mess with me? Well, maybe you can, but that’s beside the point, because I will protect Jackson no matter what, even if I almost drown him in the process. (Really, that wasn’t my fault. He should learn how to swim better.)

This 110k word book contains: Disco ball pinata, camping with Sasquatch, an acrobatic housekeeper named “Mr. Cleanyface,” a questionable massage table, weapons everywhere, Jackson’s nemesis—the fence, a turkey showdown, aerial silk antics, a reappearance of Blow-up Randy, over-the-top body armor, too many hitmen, and so many emotions that Leland’s chest might explode. This is the second book in a series—while you could read and enjoy it on its own, you really should read The Hitman’s Guide to Making Friends and Finding Love for maximum enjoyment.

336 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 26, 2019

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About the author

Alice Winters

40 books1,947 followers
Alice Winters started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to turn her ideas into written words. She loves writing a variety of things from romance and comedy to action. She also enjoys reading, horseback riding, and spending time with her pets.

Follow me on Facebook where I put up short stories, teasers, and giveaways: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Alice...

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5 stars
1,633 (57%)
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837 (29%)
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302 (10%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 388 reviews
Profile Image for ☆ Todd.
1,338 reviews1,475 followers
September 30, 2019

Hallelujah, this second book was every bit as good as the first!

The last story ended in a good place, with the bad guy being taken out, Jackson and Leland settling into their happily ever after, and The Sandman moniker being laid to rest forever.

But forever didn't last nearly as long as the happy couple had hoped, as a copycat killer tried to pin a new murder on Leland. It was even worse than that, though, because there were actually looking to fuck up Leland and Jackson's HEA.

So yeah, the story was a bit "murdery" here and there, but OMG, the humor was still just as present as ever.

Like Leland attempting to win over Jackson's bitchy mother, Ava, which just so happened to involve lots of knives and firearms.
I constantly checked my phone throughout the afternoon, but neither my mom nor Leland has texted me.

My only conclusion is that Leland has killed my mother and is trying to hide the body.
Police Chief Henry's joking attempt to set Jackson up with a cute, new detective, which went horribly wrong. For Henry.
“I bet Henry likes being the little spoon,” Jackson supplies.

“Jackson… I used to like you, but I see now that you’ve fallen for Leland’s… delusions,” Henry says.

I nod, approving of this. “I have tainted him.”

“I like being tainted,”
Jackson says.

“Especially in the butthole, right?” I ask.
And a maid in leather boy shorts and a fishnet shirt, who'd apparently never seen a bottle of Windex before. P.S., I ended up freaking *loving* Cassel so hard.
He’s a housekeeper! You told me I was rich enough to hire a housekeeper, so I did!”

“I… and he came wearing that?
” I ask skeptically.

“I was told I would get five extra dollars an hour if I dressed like a ho,” he says with a broad smile.

“Well, wouldn’t you rather him look like this than wear those gaudy uniforms they usually have on?��� Leland asks.

“Sure…” I say skeptically. “And what’s your name?”

he asks uncertainly.

“It’s Kristofferson,” Leland says. “I named him too.”

“Oh my god. Did you hire a housekeeper or a slave?”
I ask.

Kristofferson Not Kristofferson waves me off. “Dude, he’s giving me a lot of money. He can name me anything he wants.”
My only real criticism of the completely OTT comedy was the Sasquatch costume, which oh boy, tiptoed about six inches over the "trying a bit hard" line for my own personal tastes.

But overall, just like the first book, this one had me laughing my ass off from start to finish, and I can't wait for a third book in this hilarious series.

4.5 stars.


My ARC copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

However, the book is now *FREE* with Kindle Unlimited membership.

See All My Latest Reads (Review Quick-Links)

Profile Image for Deborah.
3,314 reviews429 followers
November 8, 2022
Yes I know I’m re-reading it again 🤷🏻‍♀️ Nov 2022

Re-read 23rd February - 10th March 2021

Re-read 4th - 7th January 2020.

I can say without a doubt that this is (as far as I’m concerned) the funniest book ever written.

Original review.

This book is hilarious. It’s the funniest thing I’ve ever read. I laughed constantly from beginning to end. I just can’t praise this enough.

I adored Leland, Jackson and the whole host of supporting characters. I did intend to move straight onto her Darkness series but I feel my hubby deserves a few nights of peace. When I finished this book he turned to me and said “can I sleep now?”
Yes. At least for a few nights.

The woman next to Leland must have been listening because she gives him a huge, flirtatious smile. “You have a horse?”
“I do!” Leland says. “I don’t drive him. Though, I do like to ride him out to get mail.”
She beams at him. “Aw, what breed is he?” Leland shrugs.
“Borderline nag.” I kick his foot since I am not borderline anything, but she chuckles.

“Leland, there is literally nothing that could get me up those stairs. Not even the promise that I would never have to wake up again with a surprise Blow-Up Randy penis in my mouth.”

“I send him pictures of you all the time. It’s how we bond,” I say as I scroll up. “Here’s a picture of your butt.” It’s a picture I’d taken when I’d yanked the shower curtain open and snapped it really quickly, almost as he was projecting his way through the ceiling.
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,227 followers
October 13, 2020
I admit that I have read four more books since I finished this one, but I know you all need my review because of how informative they are.
Yeah, I couldn't type that with a straight face.

I get that a lot. I've made peace with it.

So, reviewing my Kindle notes.... This was hilarious. The humor is OTT and often silly and dirty, but that's kind of my personality so I guess this series is like my soul-mate? Sure, that works, although I'm not sure any book series deserves that kind of treatment. My soul isn't exactly the cleanest of things. If you attach something to it you are basically throwing that thing into a gutter.

Hey, you asked for it.

In this one there is another hitman out there killing and giving the credit to Leland, who doesn't kill anymore. I guess this guy is the pinch-hitter of murdering. (Shit, my husband is torturing me with baseball these days. Why can't he just stick with soccer like a normal British person? I married him for the no-American-sports thing and the fact that David Beckham was playing back then. How dare he change it up after all these years? Sure I read while he watches, but it's obvious from my metaphor that something has made its way into my brain so I'm deeply offended!)

This is the most realistic thing I've ever seen.

Leland and Jackson try to figure out who is copycatting while also adding new things to the "sex dungeon" that Leland named the basement. He also has a room dedicated to his guns, called the "gun shrine". I am thinking this guy should get into the interior design business. He missed his calling.

The book was funny and fast-paced with all of the ridiculousness that I was expecting after the first one. Here's a quote:

When Leland mentions putting aerial silks in the sex dungeon (*shrugs* like Cirq de Solei I guess?):

Jackson: It's going to be like trying to plug an electrical cord into an outlet while swinging through the air."

Leland: "ooh, talk dirty to me some more."

Jackson: "That's all I got. The well is dry."

Well, the holidays are just around the corner....

There also may or may not be a Sasquatch role-play game involved.
Profile Image for Jinx.
251 reviews43 followers
October 10, 2019
This book was exhausting. The only thought I had the entire time I was reading this is that Jackson’s constant excuse of being so in love with Leland that he’d put up with anything just made him come across as someone whose so scared of being alone and unloved that he’ll be embarrassed and humiliated just so that he can say he’s in a relationship. 🙄
Profile Image for W.
1,433 reviews128 followers
August 27, 2020
Juvenile , Exhausting and Ridiculous 

Overall:  2 stars
Performance:  4 stars   
Story:  1stars

Reviewed: 06-25-20

Folks, I sincerely tried to get into this audio but what came across as hilarious , OTT -over the top- , soapy, quirky in The Hitman's Guide to Making Friends and Finding Love, book 1 , here in book 2 , came across as OTT annoying, repetitive, insufferable , idiotic and exhausting without trying to be.

Leland and Jackson are caricatures of the characters the were in book 1 . Their banter is the same joke over and over again.

Not even the talented Michael Ferraiuolo , with his perfect comedic timing , clear and precise narration could save , for me, this audiobook. He can only work with the material he is given.

Very rarely or almost never , do I DNF an ebook/audiobook but when I either fall asleep or get annoyed, every single time I tried to listen to this one, that should tell me something. TOD Chapter 3.

#Audible #DNF #SaveYourAudibleCredit #KindleFire #ListenedOn2020
Profile Image for Leslie.
1,124 reviews227 followers
September 26, 2019
***Available now for purchase and on kindle unlimited!!***

"It's too late, I've involved myself with the king of mischief and fell in love. There's no turning back now."

"He clamps his hand over my mouth. 'Shh, you're prettier when you don't talk, especially while looking like a pastel crayon.' 'You know your way right into my heart,' I say as I kiss his cheek. 'So where are we going on our date?' 'It's a secret.' 'Oh my god, are you taking us to the fence where we first met? Are you going to reenact it?'"

It seems fitting that I finished this book and am writing the review for it on the first day of fall. Alice Winter's, The Hitman's Guide to Making Friends and Finding Love was my favorite book of the summer and now The Hitman's Guide to Staying Alive Despite Past Mistakes is an early contender for my favorite book of the fall. In her Facebook group, Winters was opening up some spots in her ARC team to review it. I confess I channeled Meredith Grey as filled out the form to apply.

So here we are. Leland and Jackson are back and I loved every moment of it. And if you thought Leland was going to let Jackson forget how they met, spoiler alert, he doesn't.

"'You two are meant for each other,' Mason grumbles. 'I know, right?' Leland asks with a huge smile. 'Butthole at first sight.'"

Leland is settling into life with Jackson, working at his detective agency. (That is, as much as Leland can settle.) But it's not long before trouble comes calling. There's a new hitman in town and he's pretending to be Leland's retired Sandman persona. For Leland, this simply will not do and him and Jackson are soon on an adventure to find this ballsy imposter and clear Leland's name.

As usual, I like to keep my reviews as spoiler free as possible. I will say that the pair's adventure is filled with hilarity, heart and heat.

"I didn't know Jackson's eyes could get so wide, but they're nearly falling out as he looks at my arsenal. 'Why do you have so many weapons on you at once?' he cries. 'So they don't feel lonely. I rotate who I take to work with me every day.' 'There is something wrong with you,' he decides. 'Which means there's something wrong with me since I picked you."

"'This is why I love you,' I say as I look up at him. He gives me an amused smile. 'Because I put ice cubes on your mosquito bites?' 'Yes. Because you care, and even though it makes me feel all weird inside, it makes me so happy.'"

One of my favorite things about Leland and Jackson is how ride or die for each other they are. It's truly the best and it makes my heart happy.

And no spoilers but that ending?

Get this book the minute it comes out. If you haven't read the first one, do that first. Then get this book. Truly, everyone needs Leland and Jackson in their life. So do it!

ARC provided by the author for a review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Rellim.
1,482 reviews24 followers
October 9, 2019
Unfortunately this is going in my DNF stack. I gave the first one 3 stars, but this fell flat for me. Jackson began to sound more and more like Leland. There was back and forth between them without any indicator of who was actually speaking, and I couldn’t always tell. I found myself re-reading paragraphs trying to figure out who was saying what.

Also, the “shtick” drowned out the story. Pages of jokes & OTT banter left me trying to remember the plot.

I’d be willing to give the author another try as I liked the “In Darkness” books, but this series just isn’t clicking for me.
Profile Image for Chris.
2,066 reviews
September 28, 2019
So funny .. like hilarious.. OMG I can’t love Leland any more and Jackson is simply perfect for him. While there was grit and pace, the humor just made this one perfect read. So well written and SO much fun ! Loved it
Profile Image for Bookreader87(Amanda).
930 reviews31 followers
October 18, 2019
The hitman and the PI

Leland and his sexual innuendos are back for a second round with his lover Jackson by his side.
Just when Leland thinks he is in the clear, he is wrong. Letting his guard down and getting too comfortable in his "normal life" brings his past front and center.
Jackson and Leland must work together to keep each other, their family and their friends safe.
The best thing is the love between these two is stronger than ever.
Overall, a fun read. I really enjoyed the addition of Cassel to the group. I have a feeling we may be getting a story involving him and Jeremy and I am here for it! :)
Profile Image for Lucie V..
997 reviews1,617 followers
January 11, 2023
✅ Hilarious moments and banter
✅ Cute romance (MM)
✅ Smut
✅ Characters
✅ Mystery and investigation
✅ Action
✅ Pace and plot
✅ 2 POVs
✅ More of Henry, and a new character
❗️❗️Trigger warnings: mentions of murders (not graphic)

4.5 stars

"How are you so fast? I literally stopped to tie my shoe and you had time to break a door in, chase a man, and get halfway across town before I stood up!"

And… did you seriously run that far, and you’re not out of breath?”
“Not in the slightest. You should see this guy, though. I think he’s dying.”
“Don’t kill the guy.”
“I know. I only made that mistake one time.”
“Leland… wait… what?”
“I’m joking. He was fine. I only thought I killed him.”

This book is as crazy and hilarious as the first one, as Leland is still in danger, despite his retirement from the hitman profession. Leland started working with Mason and Jackson at their agency, and he even found a way to make cheater cases entertaining, but things can't remain calm for long with these two (although "calm" is a relative word when it comes to them). There is a murderer or hitman on the loose, and he leaves notes just like the Sandman did, meaning that someone is trying to frame Leland, simply copycatting him, or trying to catch his attention for another reason.

The door flings open so hard that Mason and I both jump.
“Get your holes out and dicks ready, for I have arrived,” Leland shouts as he bursts through the front door laden down with bags.

I seriously lost count of the amount of time poor Jackson sighed in this book. The shit this man has to put up with is ridiculous, but he's still deeply in love with Leland and would do almost anything to make him happy, even if Jackson gets so exasperated at times. The guy is seriously a saint, and I don't think people give him enough credit. Leland is hilarious and I absolutely LOVE him as a fictional character, but there is no way I would ever be able to deal with someone as annoying as him in real life.

That being said, Leland and Jackson are disgustingly cute together. In this book, it's less of a grumpy/sunshine interaction, and more of a Leland being a crazy maniac and Jackson trying to control him, while also agreeing to all the shit Leland asks because he's a complete sucker when it comes to making Leland smiles. Their banter is still as hilarious, and the over-the-top silly situation they end up in made me laugh so hard! I also totally adore the way Jackson has this dry and sarcastic humor whenever Leland starts to say crazy shit, and he just learned to roll with it instead of trying to reason with him.

“He’s a housekeeper! You told me I was rich enough to hire a housekeeper, so I did!”
“I… and he came wearing that?” I ask skeptically.
“I was told I would get five extra dollars an hour if I dressed like a ho,” he says with a broad smile.
“Well, wouldn’t you rather him look like this than wear those gaudy uniforms they usually have on?” Leland asks.
“Sure…” I say skeptically. “And what’s your name?”
“Kris…toper?” he asks uncertainly.
“It’s Kristofferson,” Leland says. “I named him too.”
“Oh my god. Did you hire a housekeeper or a slave?” I ask.
Kristofferson Not Kristofferson waves me off. “Dude, he’s giving me a lot of money. He can name me anything he wants.”

When we reach the fence, I look up at the barbed wire. “It’s your archnemesis. What are you going to do?” Cassel asks as he motions at the fence.
I narrow my eyes. “Leland told you about that?” He grins. “First thing he said to me.”

There is a new member in the crazy crew: Cassel. I was not sure at first if he would end up being important or not, and if I would like him or not, but I really like him, and he better be there in the next book. The way he just took Leland's craziness in stride at first (only because Leland was paying him well), but then realized how intense he was and started to regret his decision to stick with him was actually a good representation of how a healthy human being should react to Leland. We don't know much about Cassel, but we know he's had a rough childhood, similar to Leland's in some aspects, and I just love how he interacts with Leland and Jackson, and how he says that he hates them, but also sticks with them because he doesn't really have anyone else in his life. I don't necessarily want a whole book focused on Cassel, but I wouldn't mind a few Cassel chapters in the next book, and a little romance on the side for him. He deserves some love and happiness.

"I send him pictures of you all the time. It’s how we bond,” I say as I scroll up. “Here’s a picture of your butt.” It’s a picture I’d taken when I’d yanked the shower curtain open and snapped it really quickly, almost as he was projecting his way through the ceiling.

“You picked him,” Henry says. “You were literally faced with a deranged hitman and went ‘I think I’ll spend the rest of my life with that man there!’”

Henry is more present in this second book, and I really like him and his gruff-yet-weirdly-tolerant temperament. He is clearly exhausted from Leland's jokes and dramatics, but we can see that deep down he's grown attached to him, and not only for Jackson's sake. It made me smile to see how Leland was trying to force his way into Henry's life and to explain to everyone that Henry loved him and was like his father. Poor Henry even tried to come to Jackson's rescue and set him up with another, much less annoying, cute-looking guy, but all it did was give an occasion to Leland and Jackson to gang up on Henry and make fun of him. I really hope that he will continue to be an important part of Jackson and Leland's life because I love every interaction he has with them both.

I constantly checked my phone throughout the afternoon, but neither my mom nor Leland has texted me.
My only conclusion is that Leland has killed my mother and is trying to hide the body.

“I think that woman might have been hired by . She is evil.”
“That’s Jackson’s mom,” Leland says.
Cassel looks at me with pity in his eyes. “Dude… I’m sorry.”
“She’s not that bad!”
“She once told Jackson that she saw me at the doctor, so I’m probably keeping some sexual disease hidden from him,” Leland says. “I told her I had crabs and that I rubbed them all over her toilet seat. She scrubbed that thing for days.”

Jackson's narrow-minded mother is still part of the adventure, and we actually see more of her in this book, and while I am still far from liking her, I like seeing Leland slowly, but surely getting past her defense and "forcing" her to like him.

With the bad guy behind all that happened in the first two books finally behind bars, I feel that this main plot line has been resolved, and both characters are in a good and happy place. The series could end up there and it would be a nice and satisfying ending. Still, I know that there are two more books to this series and I cannot wait to see what awaits Leland and Jackson, and what crazy situations they will end up in.

The Hitman’s Guide to Making Friends and Finding Love ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

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Profile Image for Shannon.
2,296 reviews165 followers
September 24, 2019

If you thought Leland was inappropriate and out of control before, you ain't seen nothing yet...lord help us all.

Hitman's Guide #2 had me laughing out loud- so loudly and so often, it's a good thing I live alone! Not only is Leland just as out of control as before, he now has Jackson as an accomplice. And OMG did these 2 crack me up! From the silly things Leland talks Jackson into, to the trouble they get into when they're on the job. They are just so fun and perfect together. And I just adore how Jackson loves Leland, it's really the sweetest thing.

"I shake my head, but I know that I'll chuckle at anything he needs me to because I'm a sucker and I love him. And his newness hasn't worn off yet. I'm not sure it ever will. I can picture him keeping me entertained decades from now."
You and me both Jackson!

Leland had me all up in my feels this go 'round, in addition to all the laughs, which I was not ready for- I've gotten so used to his over-the-top ways that it was hard to see him so vulnerable. And yet I loved seeing that side of him. I really liked getting the look into his past, heartbreaking as it was.
Nothing gets Leland down for long though, and soon enough we're back to driving the bad guys crazy.

I am really loving Leland and Jackson, so much more than I thought or expected. I'm so glad Ms. Winters is making the Hitman's books into a series- I will happily read about Leland and Jackson's adventures and antics for as long as she's willing to write them.
Profile Image for Trio.
2,925 reviews171 followers
August 4, 2022
I was a scooch underwhelmed by the first one, but I really enjoyed Despite Past Mistakes! The chemistry between Leland and Jackson works so well in this one.

A wonderful performance by Michael Ferraiuolo (of course).
Profile Image for L Cherry.
550 reviews13 followers
July 26, 2022
best characters ever!

I just love these guys!
The story was a little slower in the beginning of this one, but things definitely picked up. I think the banter between Leland and Jackson is just perfect. The mystery and ultimate bad guy, Lucas, is not the best part of the story, but the wacky times with Leland makes it so much fun.
Definitely one of my favorite series this year.
Profile Image for Joyfully Jay.
7,370 reviews417 followers
September 30, 2019
A Joyfully Jay review.

5 stars

The Hitman’s Guide to Staying Alive Despite Past Mistakes is the second book in Alice Winters’ fabulous Hitman’s Guide series. It follows soon after the first book in the series and has everything wonderful from that first story and then some. Most of Winters’ books (and in particular this series) merge humor, romance, and suspense all together in great ways. But what really makes this story stand out even more is the way all these elements are infused with so much warmth and heart, making it all just come together perfectly for me.

If you are a fan of Winters’ style of outrageous humor, great banter, and insane interactions among her characters, this book is going to be for you. It is basically Alice Winters dialed up to 11. And I am all here for that because her style just completely works for me. I mean yes, Leland is basically insane and in real life he would probably make me nuts. But I absolutely adore him, and even more, I love the way Jackson adores him. What I think really sells their interactions is that Jackson is pretty much constantly delighted by Leland. Even as he is rolling his eyes or exasperated at yet another crazy thing Leland does, you can tell Jackson is charmed by him. He happily goes along with all of Leland’s outrageous demands and requests because he just can’t resist the man. It takes the humor and adds that layer of love on top of it that makes their interactions so fun and sweet, despite the crazy.

Read Jay’s review in its entirety here.

1,199 reviews6 followers
October 13, 2020
Just as good as the first one!
Leland and Jackson are now a team, more in love than ever, and as they have to face a ghost from Leland’s past their connection is strong!
Not that they get sappy, though! Their back-and-forth banter and Leland’s absolutely hilarious use of humour to cover up any talk of emotions or serious items are absolutely unforgettable, as is Jackson’s inability to ever deny Leland anything, with tear-inducing laughter consequences!
Profile Image for Kenny Danewitz raveh.
467 reviews19 followers
July 11, 2022
This was just as good as the first book if not better. I was lounging so hard!!! Loved the relationship and the family issues, Jackson’s mother is great!!! This is very different from the MM I usually read but I love it.
Profile Image for Miriah.
631 reviews19 followers
September 29, 2019
I LOVE this series.
I didn’t even know it was going to be a series. But I adored the first book, which is absolutely one of my most favourites that I have reread a few times now. When I saw this book was coming out I was ECSTATIC.
I can’t get enough of Jackson and Leland, and the book is HILARIOUS. They are such a great couple, with both romance and humour, and I really enjoyed the plot as well. The secondary characters are incredibly well developed, and I enjoyed the new character additions. I hope we get more Jackson and Leland-centered books before the author moves on with other characters. Leland is both hilarious and vulnerable, and seeing his vulnerability in this book especially really hits the spot. Jackson is just incredible. He’s grounded enough to balance Leland out while they still have hilariously fun adventures together. They also are incredibly attracted to each other and love each other to the end of the world. And isn’t that all we could ever ask for?
Leland’s relationship with Jackson’s mother is also fantastic.
There was a moment where I thought the author was going to go for a common enough cliche that I HATE in my romance novels (the KFC scene) but she didn’t and I love her all the more for it.
The ending was PERFECT.
I can’t wait to read more about this couple and honestly anything else Alice Winters writes.
Profile Image for Debra.
1,983 reviews230 followers
December 2, 2019
3.5 stars

This book took me days to read. There is also a lot of comedic shtick - same as in the first - that sometimes slowed things down for me. I know Leland uses humor to deflect, and there were scenes that were definitely laugh-out-loud funny, but there were some scenes that just went on for too long. I'll admit to skimming parts of it in the last half of the book.

I loved the premise of the story, and Leland's past is wreaking havoc on his new-found emotions. It also brought us a delightful new character in Cassel, who is hired by Leland to clean the house - the only thing is Cassel doesn't even know what Windex is. But hey, at least he's cute.

Considering the amount of time devoted to shenanigans, I found the wrap up of the storyline to be somewhat rushed. While I'm not sure I'd be down for another Leland and Jackson story, I'd love to see Cassel get a story of his own with a certain grumpy character.
Profile Image for L Ann.
406 reviews54 followers
August 31, 2022
The events of this story take place two months after the conclusion of book one. Leland has officially joined Jackson’s detective agency and seems content working the cases assigned to him (and sometimes those assigned to Mason). They aren’t as exciting as the jobs he used to take on but they do give him an excuse to carry guns and that’s all he really cares about. He and Jackson are very happy and seem to have moved on from Leland’s former life. That is, until someone starts murdering people while claiming to be The Sandman and they are forced to figure out who it is and why they are doing it.

The mystery here was okay but I wasn’t as invested in it as I was with the mystery from book one. Leland was just so playful that nothing really seemed as scary as it should have been. I also wasn’t blown away by either the twist toward the end or the eventual resolution of everything. My reaction to both was a resounding “huh” and an eagerness to move on to the next thing.

Leland and Jackson’s relationship has gotten a lot stronger but, thanks to Leland, they do the cringiest things like foreplay that involves wearing sasquatch costumes or aerial silks. I don’t really find their sex scenes very, well, sexy but they are sometimes incredibly sweet… especially when Leland isn’t talking too much.

Overall, this follow up just wasn’t as exciting as book one and, for some reason, the scenes that showed Leland and Jackson joking around and teasing each other felt like filler. Since this is a romance their scenes together shouldn’t feel that way. If anything, when it comes to these types of stories I usually crave more scenes that involve the MCs just being together and doing things away from their cases, but that wasn’t the case here. I’m not sure what that says about their relationship but that’s how I felt. The epilogue was nice and I’m glad that Leland got a chance to prove how much being with Jackson has changed him for the better. 2.5 stars, rounded up
Profile Image for Emily.
487 reviews
April 5, 2021
DNF @ 51%

I enjoyed the first book of this series, and I have enjoyed some of this author’s other books, but something about this one was really just hard for me to read.

It almost became too silly and too stupid for me that I became bored and kinda annoyed. I understand that the characters have this kind of joking relationship, but even when moments were supposed to be serious, a stupid comment or joke would be made and I would find myself disappointed. I enjoy humor but I also love romance and action and angst. I think the balance of humor with the rest of it was completely thrown out the window for this book. It was too much, I couldn’t find it funny anymore!!

I gotta give the author credit though. She IS really funny and creative, I just wish that balance was there so I could enjoy her writing more.
Profile Image for Micah.
265 reviews29 followers
October 11, 2019
This was SO MUCH better than the first book and we love to see growth. I’m becoming more and more of a fan of this author with every book. Only complaint really is that there’s too much comedic meandering. Some of the scenes in this book are absolutely hilarious but end up being ruined because they just kept going and going and going. It kind of drowned out the rest of the story because it was just TOO much at times
Profile Image for Danielle  Gypsy Soul.
3,101 reviews70 followers
April 27, 2020
Maybe my expectations for this book were just too high because the first book was one of my all time favorites and made me laugh out loud a lot! However in this book it seemed liked Jackson took on way too many of Leland's characteristics. Now we had too goofy, take hardly anything serious, make a joke out of everything guys and it just didn't work for me as well as having Jackson playing a bit more of a straight man to Leland's comedic one. Some of the banter was still amusing but it seemed to go on a bit too much in this book like the author was trying just a bit too hard to make it funny. So I admit I'm a bit disappointed but Leland and Jackson are still great characters and while I didn't love this one like the first book I did enjoy it and would read more books set with these characters.
Profile Image for Gal.
302 reviews19 followers
August 21, 2022
הספר השני ממשיך באותה הרוח של הראשון, או במילים אחרות: סערה משתוללת של בדיחות, עקיצות ורמיזות מיניות מאד לא-מעודנות. לפעמים זה נדמה כמו לחיות לכמה רגעים בראש של מישהו עם הפרעת קשב רצינית ביותר ;)
זה נחמד ומצחיק, אבל פתאום זה היה לי קצת מעייף וקצת ״עוד מאותו הדבר״. אז נכון ש-28% זה מוקדם לחוות דעה, אבל החלטתי להפסיק בינתיים ואולי לחזור בשלב מאוחר יותר.
בהחלט יש מצב שאם היה מדובר בסלואו-ברן זה היה מושך אותי יותר. לרוב, אני נוטה לאבד קצת עניין כשהרומן מתממש, למרות שבמקרה שלהם הם פשוט כל כך חמודים ומצחיקים ומוזרים, שזה כן כיף, אבל כאמור, התחלתי להתעייף מזה קצת.

המשכתי להאזין לספר באודיו. היה חמוד ותזזיתי ממש. לילנד הוא היפר אקטיבי על אקסטזי וג׳קסון חמוד מאד, אבל הוא פשוט הביץ׳ של לילנד, ואני מתכוונת לזה בקטע הכי חמוד ושובה לב שיש.
מי שגידל ולימד את לילנד להיות רוצח שכיר נמצא בעקבותיהם והם מנסים לאתר את הסכנה ולשרוד אותה.
בדרך אנחנו מתוודעים עוד למשפחתו של ג׳קסון, כשהם שניהם מתגוררים איתם + לדמות חדשה (שכחתי את שמו) - מנקה שהם שכרו לבית שלהם, שהופך ליותר מזה (ומסתבר שהוא בכלל נשכר להרוג אותם).
בקיצור, בלגן. אבל בסוף כולם שורדים. איכשהו.
Profile Image for Natalie .
2,344 reviews32 followers
September 27, 2019
Once again I am the laughing lunatic on public transport, this one had me in hysterics. Leland is just as funny and ridiculous as the first time around, this time Jackson has just given in and become his partner in torture. Poor Henry and Ava. New characters, Old enemies and a whole lot of fun.

“You’re going to shoot a man with an SMG, and you think just because you’re using rubber bullets, it’s okay?”

“Please don’t chase me with a massive erection in one hand and a gun in the other.”

And this one has rubber bullets so if I have to shoot your mom, you won’t cry that I murdered her.”

So many good one liners and running gags. I love these books.
Profile Image for misz lei.
161 reviews13 followers
February 12, 2023
wow! I think this book grew on me. I love all the characters even the villain😝 And the twist! I think there will always be a twist in the end. That ‘turkey’ scene is to die for🤣🤣🤣 Downloading the entire series in audio now.
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